Billionaire duchess gives away fortune for love
The Duchess of Alba with her civil servant beau, Alfonso Diez. (Getty Images)
You can't put a price on love, but in Spain about $5 billion can go a long way.
That's how much the 85-year-old Duchess of Alba is parting with in order to marry her what would be her third husband, who is a civil service worker.
She is dividing her fortune among her disapproving children to prove that the love of her life, 60-year-old Alfonso Diez, is not after her money.
"Alfonso doesn't want anything. All he wants is me," the duchess said earlier this year.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Duchess -- her full name is Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva -- has the most noble titles on the planet (46, including 22 as a countess and seven as a duchess).
She is also incredibly wealthy, owning thousands of acres of Spain, multiple palaces and a priceless art collection. Estimates put her fortune just shy of $5 billion.
A report in a Spanish newspaper says she is giving each of her children and eight grandchildren a palace apiece as part of the agreement that was worked out last month.
The Duchess, whose previous husbands died, and Diez have been seeing each other for a number of years. It was rumoured that she was ready to go to the altar again in 2008, but had been talked out of it by her children and even Spain's King Carlos.
Diez reportedly signed away any claim to the money,but the Duchess is putting an exclamation point on it by giving her children their inheritance early.
Still, opposition to the marriage remains.
"If in the end my mother decides to marry, we shall go, although we still don't agree," son Cayetano told Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo.